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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
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    October 1, 2012
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album "52nd street" became the first commercial cd released in japan. since then, hundreds of billions of cds have been sold even though digital music downloads are growing in popularity. i like my vinyl, too, as well. thanks for watching. i'm brooke baldwin. now to wolf blitzer and "the situation room." happening now, just two days before the first obama/romney debate and our new cnn national poll shows the president's lost, lost his post-convention bounce. but there's a different story in the battleground states. mitt romney could make a huge impact on the supreme court. how he could change the direction of the court for decades. they make $10 a day to put their lives on the line. but they could lose their job ifs they don't lose some weight. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
we're now just 36 days from the presidential election and nationally our brand-new cnn/orc poll of likely voters shows the race between president obama and governor romney remaining up for grabs. the president leads 50% to 47%. but his three-point margin is within the poll's sampling error. our chief national correspondent john king is in denver getting ready for the debate over there. that's the site of the debate. john, take us into these numbers. what are you seeing? >> reporter: well, wolf, i can tell you this, talking to senior officials in the romney campaign, they believe after a tough week or ten days, the last several days, they have a little bit of a breeze at their back. they say the race has stabilized.
you dig into the numbers. what is the most important issue in this first debate? the economy. look at this poll. which candidate would better handle the economy? the president, 49%, governor romney, 48%. a dead heat. the president has to defend his record. governor romney not only needs to attack his record but to convince voters he has a better place to take them if he wins the election. and you know this full well, the reason this debate and what both candidates say in the economy is so important is the friday morning after the wednesday night debate, we'll get the latest unemployment report. if governor romney could turn in a strong debate performance and another tepid jobs report, there's a chance for this race to change after debate number one. >> if you're the obama campaign, you're looking at all these numbers in our brand-new poll. what's most encouraging to you? >> reporter: in scrubbing through the demographics, the regional numbers, here's one thing they will like at the obama campaign. among white voters nationally, the president gets 41%.
governor romney gets 56%. governor romney's beating him by a big number, how is that good for president obama? given the president's support among african-americans, latinos and other voters, governor romney needs to keep the president to 37%, no more than 38% of the white vote. if the president's cracking 47% of the white vote, that's a formula for an obama victory. and where are the key big battleground states? there are several in the midwest. ohio, iowa, wisconsin. look at the race in the midwest. obama, 52%, romney, 43%. the president is winning that part of the country. out west in denver, colorado, nevada, among the battlegrounds out here in the west. ten-point lead in the west for the president. 54% to 44%. the white vote and if you look regionally, there are things that give the president's team some optimism. >> if you're the romney campaign looking at these new poll numbers, what should give the romney folks some optimism? >> reporter: one of the reasons we are back in a closer race, a
statistical dead heat nationally f you go state by state, it's a little different, this number, governor romney has improved his standing among independents. he leads by eight points among those who describe themselves as independent voters. that's a significant improvement for governor romney, 49% to 41%, among independents. and again the defining question, when you have an incumbent president, what do the american people think of that president's job performance? not do they like him, but what about his job approval rating? and the president's is down in our new poll. 49% of americans approve of his performance, 48% disapprove. the country evenly divided on how the president has handled this job. that gives governor romney an open figure he can make a strong economic case against the president to drive the disapproval rating up a bit, that would help him if he needs to change the race. >> john king at the university of denver where wednesday night's debate will take place, john, thanks very much. our new national poll, though, only tells part of the story. if you zero in on the handful or
so of battleground states where the electoral college votes will decide the election, president obama at least for now still has a wider lead. let's bring in our chief political analyst, gloria borger. let's take a look at three of these states, ohio, florida and virginia. our poll of poll, we've averaged out the major polls, the reputable polls in those states. in ohio, 51-44. in florida, 50-45. five-point advantage. virginia, 46-44, it's a lot closer on the screen than the notes i had here. in any case, if you take a look at these state polls, as important as the national polls are, what's happening in these handful of battleground states obviously are lot more important. >> and the question is whether the difference between the national polling and the
battleground state polling is sustainable and whether that will continue. i think there are a bunch of things going on. first of all, in some of these states like ohio and virginia, for example, the unemployment rate is lower in those states than it is nationally. and everybody i talk to says you're not sure whether battleground states are a leading indicator or are they a lagging indicator? if the national polls tighten, will the statewide polls tighten? and this is something we've talked about throughout this long campaign, this could really be an example of where essentially you have saturation bombing of millions of dollars' worth of political advertisements targeted on certain states. a state like ohio, and whether that is actually paying off for the obama campaign. so we're going to have to see and see whether these things tighten at the state level. >> we're just a little bit more than 48 hours away from that first presidential debate wednesday night in denver. you've looked at the primary
debates. >> so did you. >> i moderated three of them. what struck you most about romney's performances when he was challenged by other republicans? >> well, i think you'd have to say that romney did very well during these debates. he very often seemed like the grown-up on the stage. and he wasn't a big, big loser at any of those debates. he did make mistakes. let me talk about his strengths. he's very good at turning around an opponent's weakness and turning it into a debating point. take a look at this little change with newt gingrich in florida in january. >> speaker gingrich was hired by freddie mac to promote them, to influence other people throughout washington, encouraging them not to dismantle these two entities. i think that was an enormous mistake. >> so he did it with a nice tone, said newt gingrich made an enormous mistake. i think that was a good way of romney pointing out the
differences. what he does, though, is when he's in moment when there's a really candid exchange and he's not sure what to say, he can really look awkward. remember this? i bet you do. >> you were for individual mandate, my friend. >> you know what, you've raised that before, rick. and you're wrong -- >> it was true then, true now. >> rick, i'll tell you what, 10,000 bucks? $10,000 bet? >> that became a real problem for mitt romney because it only fed into the narrative that he doesn't care about your problems, he's rich and out of touch. if you bet $10,000, not such a good idea. >> that was a little awkward. >> it was a bad moment for him. and that happens to him when he's challenged in a way he's not ready for. and he's not very good with this kind of just off-the-cuff remarks. >> overall, he's solid on the
debating front and so is the president. gloria, thanks very much. both presidential candidates certainly have cleared their schedule for debate rehearsals. the president's practicing right now at nevada. mitt romney's resuming his practice sessions after a welcoming rally tonight in denver. both sides downplaying expectations. but cnn's chief political correspondent candy crowley who's moderating, by the way, the second presidential debate, noticed one high-profile exception. >> reporter: apparently romney supporter and republican governor chris christie didn't get the memo. s.o.p. for predebate chatter is to lower expectations for your guy by raising expectations for the other guy, like this -- >> president obama's a very gifted speaker. the man's been on the national stage for many years. he's an experienced debater. >> reporter: because this is a
bipartisanly accepted strategy, like this -- >> we've expected all along that governor romney will have a good night. he's prepared more than any candidate in history, showing himself to be a very good debater. >> reporter: since you are supporting romney, you are supporting him, right? then you also need to lower the stakes for wednesday's first of three presidential debates. like this -- >> frankly, i can't remember the last time there was one of these comments that grabbed everybody's attention because, frankly, the candidates are too well-prepared. they're well-scripted. >> reporter: and like this -- >> more importantly, i don't think one event is going to make or break this campaign. >> reporter: but definitely governor christie, definitely not like this. >> thursday morning, you're all going to be scratching your heads and saying, wow, we have a barn burner for the next 33 days. >> reporter: because the thing is, when you say that, the president's senior adviser says stuff like this -- >> they expect to come out of this with the race fundamentally
changed. if that happens, you'll see states like iowa tied. >> reporter: like they say, there's no heavier burden than great expectations. candy crowley, cnn, washington. >> i just want to clarify. the poll of polls for three key battleground states, we spoke about earlier, i was actually right what i had here. our graphics were wrong. but now they're correct. in ohio, once again, you see the president ahead. this is the poll of polls, 51-44. in florida, 50-45. and in virginia, we had it wrong on the screen before. now we've fixed it, 49-45, four-point advantage for the president in virginia. these are battleground states and you saw our new cnn/orc poll number overall. be sure to join us wednesday night for the first presidential debate. we're marshaling the full resources of cnn to analyze the candidates' performance. we're fact-checking their answers and following the reaction of undecided voters in
the host state of colorado. debate night in america begins right here on cnn wednesday night, 7:00 p.m. eastern. stay with us for complete debate coverage. neither candidate's talking very much about an issue that could have an impact on the country for years to come. how mitt romney could change the makeup of the supreme court. there's a health company that can help you stay that way. what's healthier than that?
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and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... if we want to improve our schools... ...what should we invest in? maybe new buildings? what about updated equipment? they can help, but recent research shows... ...nothing transforms schools like investing in advanced teacher education. let's build a strong foundation. let's invest in our teachers so they can inspire our students. let's solve this.
the u.s. supreme court is now back in session for the first time since it ruled on the obama administration's landmark health care law last june. so how might mitt romney change the high court if he becomes president of the united states? he's already giving all of us some major clues. let's bring in cnn's crime and justice correspondent joe johns who's taking a closer look.
what are you seeing? >> the supreme court doesn't get talked about that much on the campaign trail. but choosing a justice is one of the most important things a president does. it's how on administration puts its mark on some of the nation east toughest, most divisive issues. and we have a look at how mitt romney might handle it if he's president. whenever mitt romney fielded questions during the primaries about his picks for the supreme court, he was armed with a stock republican answer. >> what i would look to do would be to appoint people to the supreme court that will follow strictly the constitution as opposed to to legislating from the bench. >> reporter: but he wouldn't choose a favorite. >> would you pick one, please? >> yes, roberts, thomas, alito and scalia. >> reporter: all that changed in june when roberts cast the deciding vote to uphold president obama's health care law. >> as you might imagine, i disagree with the supreme
court's decision and i agree with the dissent were in an interview, romney singled out the chief justice calling the opinion political. >> i certainly wouldn't nominate someone who i knew was going to come out with a decision that i vehemently disagreed with. and he reached a conclusion i think that was not accurate and not an appropriate conclusion. >> reporter: the romney campaign denies that the candidate has a problem with roberts. in fact, the campaign's website still says, as president, mitt will nominate justices in the mold of chief justices roberts, scalia, thomas and alito. if romney were elected president, how would the court change? expect him to nominate reliable conservativ conservative. >> they would be inclined to say there's no right to same-sex marriage, that roe versus wade should be overruled. >> reporter: just on roe versus
wade, the landmark supreme court case that legalized abortion, he's voiced his disapproval. >> i think the supreme court should overturn roe v wade. >> reporter: four justices are over the age of 70. if for example the liberal ruth bader ginsburg steps down, conservatives could get the control of the court they've been longing for. also the supreme court can't overturn a decision like roe without a challenge coming up from the lower courts. while roe is settled law, new legal challenges to it are still popping up from time to time. for example, the supreme court this term has been decided on whether a ballot measure in oklahoma giving person rights to embryos is constitutional. >> step by step, that's the procedure. potentially, it could take if there's a new makeup in the supreme court. >> absolutely, you still have to get a case. >> that 5-4 makeup right now is
pretty strong. joe, thank you very much. would a u.s. supreme court under president romney tilt very much more conservative? our senior legal analyst, jeffrey toobin, is joining us. his new book "the oath" is a "new york times" best-seller. would a new supreme court, if romney had an opportunity to nominate one, maybe two justices, would it be a much more conservative one than the current makeup? >> well, it all depends on which justice would leave. the court is very evenly divided now. five republicans, four democrats. but anthony kennedy, one of the five republicans, is on record repeatedly as saying he believes roe versus wade should not be overturned. so if kennedy left, ginsburg, brier, sotomayor or kager, there could be a big change on roe v wade.
if a conservative justices is replaced by president romney, there wouldn't be much change in the balance of power. >> assume one of the liberal justices were to retire or leave and a new conservative justice were nominated and confirmed by the united states senate. how would that go about. how do you overturn roe versus wade which 30 years ago gave women the right to have an abortion in the united states? >> well, it's really not -- >> 40 years ago, i should say. >> 40 years ago, right. it's not really that difficult. many states, many red states are champing at the bit to pass laws that challenge roe v wade. south dakota almost did it. oklahoma has this personhood law. so it is not a long shot at all that one state would go all the way and say, look, we are banning abortion because we think roe v wade will be overturned. if the majority really does change. if, say, ruth bader ginsburg is replaced by a conservative, i think a challenge to roe would
come up pretty quickly, probably within a year. >> and normally someone nominates justices whether they're in their 40s or early 50s so they remain on the bench for maybe 30, 40 years. they have an enormous impact long after that president is gone. >> and that's become more and more part of the supreme court confirmation game. one of the stories i tell in "the oath" is president obama was torn between kagan and wood. one of the deciding factors was that kagan was 50 and diane wood was 60. that's going to be true whether obama or romney wins this election. >> jeffrey toobin, the author of "the oath," thanks for coming in. >> all right. one of the best-selling vehicles in the united states is now getting recalled. a defective power steering hose could trigger fires. find out if your car is in the
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a suicide bomber targets a
joint nato afghan patrol. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and other top stories in "the situation room." what happened? >> it's another reminder of the dangers in afghanistan. taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for today's attack in eastern afghanistan. the afghan interior ministry says 14 people, including three nato service members, their interpreter and four afghan police were killed when the bomber blew up a motorbike packed with explosives. 57 people were wounded. honda is recalling nearly 16,000 of its popular accord vehicles. a faulty power steering hose can leak triggering a fire. it's models 2003 through 2007. 53 honda accord tls were recalled earlier this year. indianapolis colts head coach chuck pagano has been diagnosed with leukemia.
the coach's doctor says it is a highly treatable form of leukem leukemia. and the colts' offensive coordinator will take over the team while pagano undergoes treatment. >> wish him a speedy recovery. barack obama and mitt romney are rehearsing for their first presidential debate. you're about to hear what may be some of the best advice they'll get and it's all free and unsolicited. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people while investing billions improving everything from booking to baggage claim. we're raising the bar on flying and tomorrow we will up it yet again.
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at least for a little while, forget about the baseball playoffs, the nfl referees. the only game that really matters right now is the predebate expectations game. everybody's playing. here's a quick snapshot. >> right now, two days away. but if you listen to the candidates, neither one is expected to win. >> governor romney, he's a good debater. i'm just okay.
>> both sides are falling all over each other to praise the other candidate, to lower expectations. >> he's an experienced debater. he's done these kinds of debates before. this is mitt's first time. >> apparently chris christie didn't get the memo. >> thursday morning, you're all going to be scratching your heads saying, wow, we have a barn burner for the next 33 days. >> sometimes the best advice is unsolicited. cnn's jessica yellin is standing by with our unsolicited advice panel. jessica, good panel there. >> we do. it is a little ridiculous. everybody playing the expectations game. but ana navarro, the truth is, there's a lot of pressure on mitt romney to really change the dynamic of the race. you have an idea how he can do it? >> given what their surrogates have said, there's a lot of pressure on both of them to come out, not stumble onto the stage, be able to articulate a sentence, yes, mitt romney can do it, to answer your question. i've seen mitt romney be on and
i've seen mitt romney be off. i was on the mccain campaign so i've seen him in primary debates with mccain, in primary debates in 2008 and now in 2012. ki tell you, there's times he's on, like when he was in florida in the last two primary debates. there's times he's been totally off, like the last two debates in south carolina where newt gingrich had him on the ropes. >> but he has to do something to turn around the dime nick this race. >> what's interesting is, yes, you have sort of the official romney/ryan line that mitt romney can't form a complete sentence and bark obama is cicero and it's going to be very hard. but what christie said is what you're hearing from people behind the scenes. there was a piece with a lot of anonymous quotes from romney aides saying, we need a game changer. i think the good news for romney is if you look back to those primary debates that you were talking about, he did the best in the debates where it seemed like he absolutely had to win. so the south carolina debate,
seemed like he was on cruise control, sort of playing a prevent defense against newt gingrich. but then once gingrich won south carolina, he turned it on. the next couple of debates, everybody talked about gingrich master debater and romney won. he does have some debating skills. >> he's good under pressure. and the good part is, he's under pressure. >> here's the historical problem with that, there's very little correlation between debate performance and changing the dynamic of a race. you have to search wide and far to find somewhere where the debate has changed the dynamic in the race in a person who's not leading 45 days out if a guy comes back and wins that race. he's up against history here for changing the dynamic. >> but there is a challenge. he has to be likable. only one out of five americans are going to watch this. those are the opinion makers across this country. what he has to be is likable. the pundits say, he didn't make this point or that point. you decide who wins a debate on television with a sound-off, not
on. >> i disagree with you a little bit. you go back to 2004. john kerry went into the '04 debates down six or seven points in the polls to bush. he ended up losing by two or three points. romney's only down three points. romney needs to carry -- >> but he didn't win. here's the other thing. the average going back to 68, the average undecided has been 13.5%. right now, you have a small undecided electorate out there. you've had $72 million spent by the super pacs attacking the president. what is mitt romney going to say that $72 million hasn't said about the president? is he going to sing -- >> please, no singing. >> isn't it the truth that voters discount what is said in ads, because they already think it's spined and they trust a little bit more what the candidates say? >> people hate negative ads. >> there's a reason why they keep doing it, because they
work. >> here's the bottom line, though. annual one of five are watching it. the persuadable voters are watching "american idol" or "dancing with the stars." >> they're going to hear the news the next day. >> the opinion makers, the people that they talk to around the coffee the day after, you folks who talk about it on television, you're going to tell them who won and lost. >> he's an insider. >> insider/outsider. >> i've seen a lot of debates. i've seen barack obama debate when he was a candidate. i've seen mitt romney debate. most of the time, there is no clear winner in a debate, despite what the spinners will tell you. they'll both be saying each of them won. but only the memorable debates are the ones that can change elections. >> there you go again. where's the beef? >> they'll remember a very good
memorable line or a bad -- >> not the zingers. the idea of practicing zingers that they've said romney is practicing zingers, i just hope that that's spin and misinformation. the idea of mitt romney trying to deliver a canned punch line at opposite of what he needs to do. >> he's too stiff. >> in debates, he's very fluid. he's much more at ease. he's aggressive. >> the governor of texas would agree with that. >> where's the governor of texas now? he had some bad moments but he out-debated perry. >> the obama campaign is saying they want to have substance come out during the debate. on the romney side, pressing for substance. and team romney is saying that they want to fact-check president obama during the debate. so are we in for a wonky night? >> no. no. for people who really care about these things and you're expecting statistics and you're
expecting when the five-point plan is, you're not going to get that. it's not long enough. it's too short to get to the details and beneath you are one of them really want to give the details. >> i don't know. i think romney needs a little more substance. if you look at the polls right now, people still aren't sure they want to reelect president obama. but they don't feel comfortable with the idea that romney actually has a plan. so he has to show a little more leg in terms of policy than he did at the convention. >> his race from the beginning is, i'm not barack obama, he is. >> how is that working? >> but here's the problem, you act as though his policies are actually popular. the vast majority of americans, the polling shows ryan's pick add medicare at front and center, especially in florida -- he has a problem -- >> i'm not arguing that. >> i don't think he's going to be able to avoid. i think you are going to get some substance. i think you need to get some personality. you need to get some
spontaneity. i'm not sure either of these two guys is good at spontaneity. if you can fix spontaneity, you've achieved success in politics. >> here's one good piece of news for romney. whatever's happening in sort of the inside washington game, i saw a poll today, i think it was abc news said, 52% of americans expect obama to win. something like 25%, 30% expect romney to win. with the viewers, may not not -- maybe they won't all be watching. >> skewed polls. >> christie is saying, everything will change wednesday. everything will change. >> let me see what obama needs to be. obama has to make sure that he doesn't come off as sort of arroga arrogant, who are you to question me, the president of the united states? that never works. they are now equals in the eyes of the american people. >> you mean condescending? economic elitist? >> and romney can't be so stiff. he has to be more likable.
right now, the undecided people are not going to decide this on policy. they're going to decide, who will they trust to be on their television for the next four years? >> right. it's who you want to spend your time in your living room -- >> i think that's the pundit's fallacy, delivered by a politician. >> by the way, i've actually been in debates, a lot of them. and most of the people in montana would say i won them. when we come back, we have a break now but when we come back, each member of our panel has unsolicited advice you don't want to miss.
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welcome back to unsolicited advice. this is the time when we offer ours.
why don't we start with you, governor. who are you offering your advice? >> i'm giving advice to congressional staffers. >> oh! >> your bosses have 11% job approval. that's four points below a toothache at 15%. it is the least active congress in the history of this country. and i know you're on vacation and everything. but, really, partying all night, partying all night in the hotel room of a famous partier and taking pictures and getting arrested because you're taking pictures of this woman who -- i'm not even going to mention her name because if you don't know who's partying all night with a -- >> la-lo. >> lindsay lohan. leave the partying with lindsay to the professionals. do your day job. >> but in the life of a congressional staffer, governor, if you have the opportunity to just for one night escape a
little bit that $13,000 a year working for a congressman grind, how can you begrudge them that? >> you're partying with lindsay lohan in her hotel room, what could go wrong? >> i wish i was invited. >> governor, can i call you brian? you know, these are very young staffers. it takes a lot of youth to be able to put up with congressional members, a little partying is not going to kill anybody. the numbers are not 11% approval because of the staffers. >> it's not like they're the secret service or anything. >> oh! >> thank god it wasn't cartagena. >> and by the way, congress is not supposed to be a fraternity or a sorority. whoever represents you ought to be there for you day or night. >> ana? >> my advice is to arnold schwarzenegger.
>> i want to hear this. >> i saw that interview yesterday on "60 minutes." i have to tell you, i cringed the entire way. now i couldn't stop watching it because it was so horrifying. my advice to arnold schwarzenegger is, first of all, if you're going to get married, you may not want to keep everything secret from your wife. second of all, if you want to rehabilitate your image and make amends with your wife, going on national tv and admitting you've had a number of affairs may not be the exact best path to follow. third of all, if you've had intercourse with somebody and they give birth nine months later, you might want to find out if there is any connection between what happened between you and her nine months before and what is happening now. >> that's advice -- >> and start giving her money because the kid looks like you, you just may want to have a conversation. there are certain things in life -- >> i need to take notes. that is universally applicable.
>> the last thing is his next josekeeper either has to be a man or a 100-year-old nun. >> but everybody's going to buy the book. >> that is true. >> the most astonishing thing about that interview, i thought because we've already heard the other piece, was he thought of getting open heart surgery without telling her. >> yeah. >> you thought that was the most astonishing part of that interview? >> it was an astonishing part. >> you thought the part of him starting to give the mother of the child money without a conversation -- >> that part wasn't even believable. you don't give them money unless you know. >> you served are arnold, didn't you? >> i did. >> roth? >> my advice is for the obama white house. and it is to get over your fear of the word "terrorism." obama, the white house, his whole foreign policy team,
they're dealing with a completely bizarre scandal related to the attacks in benghazi, driven by the fact that they spent a week after they knew this was probably a terrorist attack insisting that it was all about an anti-muslim voe and had very little to do with terror. i'm not sure what their theory is. it's part of a broader pattern where the obama white house wants to continue george w. bush's anti-terror policies, even expand them in terms of drone strikes and so on without completely acknowledging what they're doing. but in this case, it's made them look ridiculous. it seems unnecessary. >> i've lived in the middle east and in libya. and nothing that you see is as it seems. you don't have any idea who these people r. they showed up with grenade launch easy and sophisticated weapons. but in libya today, everybody's got some. >> that's fine. you don't even have to say, this is definitely terrorism. you just don't spend a week saying, well, it's all about this video that was made in
southern california and the muslim world is really angry. if you want to hedge your bets, okay. but they didn't. they went all in -- >> i'm going to apologize for them for wanting to get all the facts before they opened up their mouths and started blabbering. >> they did open up their mouths and start blabbering. >> i'm going to cut them a little slack for wanting to get all the facts before they go out and say it was a terror attack for sure. >> they were saying, they needed to clarify -- >> they gathered the information. they revised it. we want them to gather the information and -- >> i will guarantee you will never get the facts. >> my advice is to wall street. wall street's been giving money at a 5-to-1 pace to the republicans. a it's never personal, it's always about business. your political investments make no business sense. if you look at the stock market, it's rallying right now for manufacturing jobs. s&p is at a high. the nasdaq at a 12-year high. gdp's been growing faster under
democrats than republicans. your investments -- by the way, mitt romney, his ability to win this election is slipping away. your investments in the republicans makes no business sense. you have to make a business investment, not a personal investment. it's never personal. it's always about business. >> you heard it hear first. democratic strategist makes an appeal for wall street money. >> this is a great conversation. thanks, everybody. we're going to toss it back to wolf blitzer. >> jessica, guys, thanks very much. excellent unsolicited advice. in our next hour, some of the best debate moments ever. but first, you just might be getting part of an $85 million refund from a credit card giant. stay with us.
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credit card giant american express is refunding millions of dollarstors customers. lisa sylvester has that and some of the other top stories. what happened here? >> american express will refund $85 million to customers for allegedly deceptive practices. the consumer financial protection bureau says subsidiaries of american express charged illegal late fees promised nonexistent monetary rewards and discriminated against applicants over the age of 35. customers affected will receive those payments by next march. many users of apple's new iphone 5 are reporting a bug affecting the devices. they say that they are being charged for using cellular data even when they are using wi-fi networks. that is eating up their monthly data quotas and resulting in hefty extra fees. apple hasn't publicly commented
but issued a software update and says customers will not be charged for unwarranted cellular data usage. federal officials say that a man who was arrested in may stealing millions of dollars in a fake charity scam has been on the run from bank fraud charges for decades. u.s. marshals say bobby thompson really john donald cody. the 65-year-old attorney went on the lam in 198 1k37 marshal service says he's also wanted by the fbi in an ongoing espionage investigation. this guy was a piece of work. he's allegedly stealing money from a navy veteran essentially raising funds for -- that purportedly went to navy veterans never -- was all a scam. >> espionage. >> espionage charges. seems like the guy has a long -- this guy is a graduate of -- harvard law school. so -- wow. it is a fascinating case. >> thanks very much for that, lisa. pakistan's police officers could get kicked off the force so you are going to find out what they have to do to keep their jobs. yo, give it up, dude!
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...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. pakistan's police are on a mission to shape up, slim down or get kicked off the force. ♪ >> reporter: pakistan's street cuisine melts in your mouth treats. >> very good. >> reporter: deep fried in oil. often served swimming in oil. food that's guaranteed to add inches to your waist. and that has the government here worried. some of the expanding waist sizes belong to police officers. the finest assigned to protect and serve the nation fast becoming pakistan's flabiest.
>> they have to do this. >> yes, of course. they are bound to do this. >> reporter: the police force's second in command says the department has put in place a mandatory exercise program. with this ultimatum for police officers, drop the pounds or risk losing your job. >> 40-inch waist. >> reporter: daily workouts start here in the weight room. a barking trainer watching every move. >> the equipment isn't the best here and maybe they don't have perform but they are working up a sweat. their heart rate is going and that means they are getting a workout. what if some people can't get to the required weight? >> legal action will be taken. >> reporter: they could lose their jobs? >> yes. >> reporter: now we are out here in the exercise yard. let's see what these guys do
next. after the weightlifting, it is time for aerobics and other fat-burning workouts. it is no secret many often make fun of overweight police officers. if anyone is considering making fun of these men, they should remember that they only make $10 a day and put their lives on the line and now they committed themselves to getting in shape. mohammed says the last time he worked out was 20 years ago. today mohammed has three children, suffers from diabetes, but he will do anything to serve his country, he says. our hearts are made of stone, he says. no matter what we are asked, we will do it. that includes slimming down. getting in shape. for mohammed and hundreds of other pakistani police officers, their jobs depend upon it. you are in "the situation room." happening now the obama and romney campaigns managing
expectations, trying at least with just two days to go before the first presidential debate, ahead. taking a closer look at some of the greatest moments in debate history and thousand they can help make or break a presidential race. also, he calls himself mondstem. the interview from the sniper on the lives he took ten years ago. arnold schwarzenegger takes us inside the shocking moment he first admitted to his wife he father ad child with a family maid. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room." president obama and mitt romney are about to take the national stage for the first presidential debate and with
only two days left to prepare both candidates are hunkering down right now while the political expectations game goes into overdrive. mitt romney is heading to colorado today. our national political correspondent jim acosta is traveling with him. jim? >> reporter: wolf, it is a pre-debateaditio managing expectation just in case their candidate has an off night wednesday and both sides have another thing in common. they think media might be pulling for the other guy. >> governor, are you ready? >> ready for the debate? >> yes. i'm there. >> reporter: after a weekend of debate preparations, mitt romney was careful to avoid questions about his first matchup with president obama. but on a conference call with reporters, a top adviser revealed there's one subject romney is ready for. >> not to worry -- >> reporter: the comments that were caught on tape on the 47% of voters he said were dependent on government. >> we wouldn't be surprised,
obviously, if that came up at the debate, and the governor's prepared obviously to respond to that. >> reporter: after lowering expectations for days, the romney campaign sent new jersey governor chris christie out on the sunday talk show circuit where he made a surprising prediction. the gop nominee will pull off a game changer. >> he will contrast what his view is and what the president's record is. the president's view for the future and this whole race is going to be turned upside down come thursday morning. >> reporter: contrast that with romney's running mate paul ryan who was on another show at all the same time giving the president the edge. >> he is an experienced debater and has done these kinds of debates before. this is mitt's first time on this kind of a stage. >> reporter: a new "washington post" abc poll finds most vote expect the president to win the first face-off. meanwhile, there's already spin on how the media will cover the results. top obama strategist david plouffe said it will be pro-romney. ryan told fox news bias is
already baked in. >> i think it goes without saying that there's definitely a media bias. i'm used to media bias. we expect media bias going into this. >> wow. >> reporter: some in the romney campaign are even questioning a slew of recent polls that show the president leading in crucial swing states like ohio. romney's ohio state director issued a memo saying that it is amazing what happens when you stop over-sampling democrats and fine a race in ohio that's as tight as a tick. rhode island an told one interview he prefers interviews with local news stations. >> we are make it crystal clear to people that all these falsehoods coming out of the obama campaign about our tax policy about our medicare reform and all that are just that. >> reporter: romney will be working in pre-debate campaigning as he arrives.
every day counts. wolf? >> preside obama is spending the next couple of days in henderson, nevada, gearing up for wednesday's debate. our white house correspondent dan lothian is over at the white house. he getting new information. what's the latest on his xaeb preparation, dan? >> reporter: campaign official telling me that the president began those practices last might after arriving in defense nevada and continued these rehearsals this morning in nevada as well. taking only a break this afternoon. one of the things that they are really working on is trying to get the president to be more concise and in his answers. you know, sometime it is president can be long winded and the campaign has admitted this and it is not the most effective way to deliver your message. so they are trying to get the president to answer these questions with very few words. he has a small team of adviser around him including david axelrod, former white house communications director anita dunn. and also brian, one of the
president's economic adviser. they are not talking about some of the specifics, what's going on behind the scenes. one thing they are saying publicly is they are trying to lower expectations, talking about how the president has not had a lot of time to practice because he has been very busy with his day job. talking about how mitt romney spent a lot of time practicing, how he had all the practice during the republican primaries and even the president last night during a grassroots event in las vegas was playing the expectations game. >> folks are speculating already on who will have the best zingers. >> you are sclm. >> i don't know about that. who will put the most points the bar 12 b bar? >> you are! >> reporter: senator john kerry will be playing the role of mitt romney as in those practice debates with the president.
that's important for would reasons. first of all, he knows mitt romney well because he is from the state of massachusetts but also he has a lot of experience debating. as you heard the president talking about mitt romney there saying he has the zingers. the campaign saying don't expect the president to deliver any of these zingers. president will be having a conversation with the american people talking about his vision for the next four years. >> they are both very good debaters and see what happens. dan lothian, thanks. much more on the story coming up. political spotlight may be focused on the upcoming debate, the clock here in washington has not stopped ticking towards that looming fiscal cliff. and if congress failsing to act by the end of this year, it could cost taxpayers a lot of money. big time. look at this. according to a new anal sis the 2013 fiscal cliff could meet tax hikes of anywhere from $400 to $14,000 depending on your income range. let's talk about what is going on with the chief economist of
moody's analytics, mark zandy, who is joining us now. mark, if nothing happens between now and the end of the year, and all those tax cuts that were imposed in the years since president bush, for example, took office 2001, 2003, the tax cuts in the obama stimulus plan, all those tax cuts go away. how quickly would that hit people's pocketbooks? >> quickly. withholding schedules would change. so when you got your next paycheck, at the turn of the year, you would see a lower amount because more would be deducted for paying taxes. and as you point out, wolf, it is quite significant. it would be a big hit to the economy relatively quickly. >> how big of a hit to the overall economy would it be? some suggested it could bring us back into recession. is that realistic? >> yes. that's likely. if you add it all up, expiration of the bush era tax cuts, payroll tax holiday, there is
a -- so-called -- minimum tax, whole slew of things are going on. if all those things expired and all the taxes increase, amounts to about $500 billion in extra tax payments next year. that's 3% of gdp. and as you know, wolf, we are only growing right now at best 2%. so, you know, you do arithmetic and that says recession. policymakers need to change this. they can't allow the tax. all these tax rates to go up january 1. >> other argument i heard these were basically would bring these -- these taxes went up, it would basically bring the tax rates in the united states, where they were during the bill clinton administration in '90s when the economy was doing just fine. what's wrong with that argument? >> nothing. but -- you need to do -- if you are going go down that path you have do that over time. can't do that cold turkey. i mean, that's just too much of a hit for our after-tax income. particularly in the context of
what is still a very weak economy. if you want to go down that path, again, i don't think we need to, between don't need to see tax rates rise that much. if you want to go down that path, only way to make logical sense of that is phase that in over time so people can digest that and wouldn't push us back into a recession. i don't think we need go down that path. we need tax revenue, we need to see additional tax revenues generated. we don't need to see that much general rayed. that would be counter-produce. >> what if they let the taxes lapse for the wealthiest americans which is what president obama wanted those families making more than $250,000 a year, individuals making more than $200,000 a year, what would the impact of that be? >> well, you know, that would hurt but that is something that the economy could digest because the -- total hit would be much smaller. of course, you are hitting higher income households who
have other saving, other financial resources. they wouldn't pull back on their spending to the same degree. association you know, all else being equal it would be -- a negative to the economy in the very near term but it is something the economy could digest and -- ultimately longer run we need to address our fiscal situation. that is, we need government spending cuts and we need additional tax revenue. both of those things to address our fiscal problems. one way or the other we are going to need additional tax revenue and 2 most likely place to get additional tax revenue is from higher income households. >> $1.3 trillion deficit you definitely need something to bring that deficit down. bring the national debt down at some point down the road. once there is a balanced budget. who knows when that would be. most people assume nothing is going to happen as far as the fiscal cliff is concerned between now and november 6. but afterwards in that lame duck session between november 6 and december 31, something will happen. are you among those who will agree -- agree that the fiscal cliff will be avoided?
>> yes. i think it will be avoided. i mean, you know, depends on the election. you know. if governor romney wins it is likely -- would kick the can into next year. leave everything the same for a few months. let -- the new president come into office and get it together. probably in the spring. president obama wins the election, then right after the election, lame duck, the clock will start ticking and he will be under a lot of pressure to do something. let me say one other thing. you know, i think the most likely scenario is that we are actually going to have to go into next year, see tax rates rise for everybody, because it is then that we see enough economic pain that it generates political will necessary to do the kind of things we need to get done and -- that means that addressing our long-term fiscal problems which means cutting spending, and raising tax revenue to address long-term fiscal issues. >> thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you. what's it mean for mitt romney if he's less popular be george w. bush? that's coming up next. also, what caused this deadly
school bus crash outside of a high school? we have details. because of business people like you. and regions is here to help. with the experience and service to keep things rolling. from business loans to cash management, we want to be your partner moving forward. so switch to regions. and let's get going. together.
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a rough comparison for mitt romney. jack cafferty is following that. he is joining us now. jack? >> wolf, something here that ought to give camp romney heartburn. there is a poll out that finds the republican candidate for prident, mitt romney, is less popular than george w. bush. bloomberg news did this survey, shows the former president with a favorability rating of 46% compared to 43% for mitt romney. bush gets an unfavorable rating of 49%. romney gets 50%. bush's favorables are higher than joe biden paul ryan and the
republican party in general. it is well known romney's favorability numbers are lower than the president's many believe romney, mega-rich businessman, who once tied the family dog to the roof of his car, doesn't seem able to connect with a lot of ordinary voters out will but less popular than george w. bush, that's cold. for start i, romney and his campaign have done everything in their power to make americans forget about george w. bush in his eight years as president. romney avoids mentioning the form president's name. bush was nowhere to be seen at the republican convention in tampa. that's because for a lot of americans, bush's presidency brings back bad memories of the war in iraq, afghanistan, and the dismal response to the federal government to hurricane katrina, and the conditions that allowed the financial crisis of 2008 to happen, on and on. it is a long list. a few months ago, a cnn poll found bush is the least popular living ex-president. somehow he still gets better favorable ratings than the republican that wants to be our
next president. here is the question. what does it mean for mitt romney if he's less popular than george w. bush? that can't good-bye. go to and post your comment on my blog. or go to our post on the situation room's facebook page. >> can't be good, indeed. thanks very much for that. lisa sylvester is monitoring some of the other top stories in "the situation room." including very ominous signs coming in from iraq. >> last month was the deadest in iraq in the last two years. 365 people lost their lives to the violence that still plague it is country. half of the victims were civilians. the other half soldiers and police. baghdad's government blames blood said on sunni insurgents with ties to al qaeda. investigators in texas hope to find out what caused a fatal school bus crash outside after high school. the driver of one bus was killed while several passengers suffered minor injuries. a witness said one bus appears to -- appeared to lose control,
jumping a curb before colliding with the other bus. encouraging numbers on manufacturing were enough to spark a modest rally on wall street. the dow finished up almost 78 points. reports show the manufacturing industry was expanding the first time in four months. investors are now eagerly awaiting friday's monthly jobs report from the labor department. florida wildlife officials say that it is legal for a business to rent out alligators, yes, alligators for pool parties. it is the brainchild of a business called alligator attractions and for a price it will bring gators to your home. after a safety course party guests can swim and pose for pictures with the images. owners say the business is in line with the law. i cannot imagine a parent saying sure, honey, go on in the pool with the alligator. just can't see it. those are dangerous animals. >> you have two sweet kids. would you let your kids -- >> absolutely not. >> no way. >> i have a 2 year old and
4-year-old. no way, no how will i let them swim with alligators. i will tell you that. >> presidential candidates can't necessarily win the election with a good debate performance but a bad one can all but destroy their prospects. anderson cooper has the good the bad, and the ugly from a half century worth of debates. that's coming up right here in "the situation room."
we are counting down to the first presidential debate only two days away. while many debates may not necessarily always change the course of presidential elections, they certainly could be powerful moments revealing the true character of the
politicians running for president of the united states. cnn's anderson cooper takes a closer look now at some of the most memorable debates. >> i have been will. >> september 26, 1960. first televised presidential debate signaling a new era where appearances matter more than ever and gaffes however small are magnified. >> those are the same for all americans. >> john f. kennedy, young senator from massachusetts, facing off against vice president richard nixon who is known to be a fierce debater. on screen kennedy looks cool and calm. while nixon looks uncomfortable, sweating profusely under the hot studio lights. >> think i better shave. >> reporter: nixon flounders. kennedy goes on to win the election. in 1976, president gerald ford makes this blunder in the debate with carter. >> will is not soviet domination of eastern europe and there never will be under a ford administration. >> i'm sorry. could i just --
>> reporter: the remark becomes a central theme in carter's campaign and blamed by many costing ford the emphasis. ronald reagan repeatedly attacked by president carter for his stance on health care. >> governor reagan, as a matter of fact, began his political career campaigning around this nation against medicare. >> reporter: reagan wins fans and the election by staying cool. >> there you go again. >> reporter: four years later president reagan again uses humor to handle attacks on his age during his debate with walter mondale. >> i want to you know that also i will not make age an issue of this campaign. i am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience. >> reporter: the next election, democratic candidate due can a ki dukakis is asked this question. >> if kity were raped and murdered, would you favor
irrevocable death penalty for the killer? >> no, i don't. i think you know that i proposed the death penalty during all of my life. >> reporter: the public sees his answer as cold and dispassionate. that very night his poll numbers dropped. during the 1988 vice presidential debate -- >> senator, you are no jack kennedy. >> reporter: body language play as part in the presidential debate in 1992. george h.w. bush deliberately looks at his watch and pays for white the audience and voters see it as does respectful. >> there's differences. >> reporter: body language makes a difference in a debate between al gore and george w. bush as well. gore sighs over and over again. bush, the underdog, surprises by winning the debate and, of course, the election. both president obama and governor romney are seasoned debaters and experts say neither are prone to making major gaffes. but if there is one thing that history has taught us when it comes to presidential debates, expect the unexpected.
anderson cooper. >> until this week it has been a rough presidential election to be sure. now the candidates can't stop complimenting each other's debating skills. while they try to lower expectations, one of mitt romney's supporters is predicting a big might for the republican. turn an entrepreneur's dream... ♪ into a scooter that talks to the cloud? ♪ or make 70,000 trades a second... ♪ reach one customer at a time? ♪ how do you help doctors turn billions of bytes of shared information... ♪ into a fifth anniversary of remission? ♪ or turn 30-million artifacts... ♪
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and it gives you the tools to create custom emails that drive business. it's just one of the ways constant contact can help you grow your small business. sign up for your free trial today at let's get to our strategy session. democratic strategist paul begala, senior strategist on the democratic fund-raising group priorities usa. priorities usa action. those are the super pacs. also republican strategist john is here the president of quinn gillespie communication hears in washington. we heard a lot of the expectations romney suggesting that obama is the greatest debater, obama is saying romney is the greatest debater. chris christie, the governor of the new jersey says this yesterday. i will play the clip. >> we have a candidate that's going do extraordinarily well
wednesday might and willy what out his vision for america and contrast what his view is and what the president's record is. the president's view for the future. and this whole race is going to be turned upside down on thursday morning. >> wow. what a bold prection that is by the republican governor of new jersey. what do you think? >> god bless him. you know, everybody has to spin -- as -- spin doctors, we lie for a living. we really ramp up the lies the we of the debate. you pretend -- barack obama is not very smart, not a very good debater. baloney. i like fact the governor, he is stating the obvious which is true. that it is a narrow race but there is a solid but narrow lead for the president. it means this is at least one, maybe one of the last, very big moments that mitt romney can change that. i don't know that the prediction is right. but the strategic comparative is correct and i think at least the governor ought to get credit for not lie. >> he doesn't deserve credit for being blunt but that's his stand mark. his trademark. he can't go out there -- >> the thing i like about chris
christie high doesn't get in the inside the beltway crap. i think romney has been well trained and had a lot of primary debates and has been on his game and knows how do this. i think obama has been out of the game for so long and i -- not playing this expectations games now. i'm giving you my prediction. i think obama will be a little -- hey, mr. president, you are not that big guy anymore and will hurt him and put him on his heels. i think lit happen. >> take us behind the scenes, paul. you played -- you helped al gore in the bush. you played george w. bush. was he sighing in the rehearsals like he was on stage? was he breathing like that? that got on the nerves of a lot of folks. >> i did not notice any irregular breathing patterns of the vice president. i thought it was cheap that was analyzed and overanalyzed. >> got him a lot of publicity in the days that followed. >> what you could see in the press he was honestly appalled to be standing on stage with george w. bush.
he thought bush was completely unworthy and had no business running for president and you could tell. he would roll his eyes. you could see that. i was playing bush. this is a worry for president obama. he debated john mccain who is an american hero. and senator obama served with senator mccain. even though he didn't agree barack obama had a very high degree of respect for john mccain looking across that stage. i fear -- he lacks that looking at romney. might not only he as he underestimate governor romney but may show -- this is a huge ri risk, he may show some of that contempt gore showed for bush and that's a huge risk for the president. stick his chin up and look down his nose at you if he thinks -- you are beneath him. if you see that body language -- >> i think that's a real danger. i think that there is not a lot of love lost between these two. i don't think that obama likes romney. think that's why he has gotten so competitive in the election. if you have that disdain coming out in the debate it can hurt obama. people obama is a likable guy,
nicer guy. they don't think romney is a nice guy. if romney can equalize the like built zbap i thigap it will hel >> what he did effectively with newt gingrich during the republican debates get under his skin, how -- president has to be prepared to react shall we see in a presidential way. >> let me take this opportunity on cnn to thank the romney team for telegraphing the strategy. this is so dumb. the president of the united states reads "the new york times." he watches cnn. and they told the -- romney team told the new york ims we are going to try to get under his skin and annoy him. that did more to prepare the president than any prep session with senator john kerry who playing romney. because now he knows. this president is a literate man and reads "the new york times" and is a smart man. now i think there's absolutely no chance that he participates in their strategy. >> should have just shut up and done. >> it for romney is more important for him to look presidential. i think the biggest problem in this campaign is he hasn't looked presidential. he looked petty at times
especially after the libya thing. if he looks presidential he will come off. decrease and will look much better, look much morree electable. >> in the debates 20, of them leading up to him getting the nomination, i thought it -- certainly seemed presidential in those debates. i moderated three of them. he seemed presidential. >> i think once you are on the stage with the president, if you look presidential then, that really -- when people start pay attention for the first time especially the general voters the people that are independent voters and undeciders and those guys are starting to tune in and see the romney looks pretty credible, that's -- >> let me play a clip of paul ryan. i want to play this clip and then we will talk. >> when you are you spent on tv with absolutely false ads that this somehow raises people's taxes, it cluters and confuses. we are entering the debate phase
of this campaign and entering the choice phase of this campaign. we are making it crystal clear to people that all these fallhoods coming out of the obama campaign about our tax policy, about our medicare reform and everything else, are just that. >> i assume that will be one of their strategies in this debate as well. >> yes. but -- this is one of the surprises of this election cycle is how poorly paul ryan performed. serious man. truth teller and talented man. i have seen none of that. he actually even for a poll station astonishingly dishonest. we give you a lot of play. he really told a lot of falsehoods in his convention speech and went out and said he ran a marathon in two hours and 50 minutes and is out there whining and told fox news sunday yesterday i wrote this down, he was asked to say the math in their economic plan and their tax plan and said i don't have the -- it would take me too long go through all the math. and today he said i didn't want to go through all the math because everyone would start changing the channel. well, people want specifics.
he was not hired because he can run a marathon in two hours and 50 minutes which he can't. he was hired because he was supposed to be the specifics guy. when you go on national television, fox news and tell your base, well, i won't give you the specifics because you are too stupid to understand it, maybe true but it is an unwise statement. >> talking about which deductions, loopholes, for rich folks out there, corporations, he would seek toll i am nature in order to pay important some of the other cuts in taxes and he does not have those specifics at least not yet. >> i would say that ryan is right. the ad campaign has been very, very successful and the -- romney campaign -- >> obama ad campaign. >> obama campaign. they have been false. they need to kind of set the record straight. if they don't, they are going object in big trouble in the election and think they have to get the message out to simplify the tax code can create economic growth. the sooner they get that message out the better. >> thanks for being here. president obama and governor romney face-to-face as miles an hour voters weigh their choice, the first presidential debate
starts in about 48 hours from now. wednesday night. you can see it live. our coverage will begin 7:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. and on lee boyd malvo was part of a pair that terrorized washington, d.c. greater area one decade ago. now he's openly talking about the shooting spree that made him in his own words a monster. [ multiple sounds making melodic tune ] ♪ [ male announcer ] at northrop grumman, every innovation, every solution, comes together for a single purpose -- to make the world a safer place. that's the value of performance. northrop grumman. o0 c1 if we want to improve our schools... ...what should we invest in? maybe new buildings? what about updated equipment? they can help,
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ten years since a deadly weeks long shooting spree crippled the washington, d.c., area. in a rare and chilling prison interview lee boyd malvo is speaking out about the horrifying days on the run and apologizing for the lives he took. brian todd is here with the
details. all of us remember ten years ago what was going on in this area. >> it is surreal. for those of us that covered it, surreal for us to hear all of this. we spoke to victims the fbi agent who questioned malvo, and others. but it is lee boyd malvo himself who spoke with "the washington post" who is so compelling. you hear him speaking intelligently and showing what seems to be genuine compassion for his victims. he says he is a different person now. not the same young man who terrorized the entire washington region for nearly a month. >> i mean, i was monster. if you look up the definition, i mean that's what a monster is. i was ghoul. >> lee boyd malvo convicted in the d.c. area sniper case says he is truly sorry for what happened. his interview with "the washington post" comes on the ten-year anniversary of the shooting spree that left ten p.j. in the washington region dead over the course of three weeks. speaking from red onion state prison in virginia where he is serving a life sentence, malvo,
who is now 27, tells josh white what it was like to be under the control of his older partner in the killings, john allen mohammed. >> he told me the old person has to die. lee malvo has to die. >> he gives jarring description of how they deliberately but randomly went about shooting the victims. it is his account that is so haunting, his description of what happened here in the parking lot of this home depot when malvo was the spotter and john allen mohammed shot linda franklin who just happened to be in her car. malvo describes how he gave the signal to shoot, how mohammed on a hill nearby fired the kill shot. and how the image of franklin's husband is the one that stands out for him. >> the first one is mr. franklin's eyes and what makes that -- they're penetrating. but -- it's the worst sort of pain i've ever seen in my life.
his eyes. it's the worst -- words do not describe the depth in which to fully convey that emotion and what i felt when i saw it. >> retired fbi agent brad garrett who questioned malvo after his capture says he's not surprised that malvo is willing to pinch of the terror on mohammed when he wasn't before. the spell is gone. the whole idea that mohammed was a good person or actually help him in life dissolved. now what he is doing is stepping poured and taking responsibility but he's clearly putting mohammed in the picture. >> reporter: mohammed was executed in 2009. josh white, the post reporter, couldn't get new pictures of malvo. the prison allowed no cameras, writing utensils or paper. we interviewed malvo through plexiglas. >> he looks similar to what he looked like before, though about
ten years older. he is a slight guy, he's not particularly tall. he's not particularly heavy. his hair was very closely cut. >> reporter: paul, one of the first people shot during the spree, says he forgives malvo. >> if i held the same hate today or that i felt in 2002 when he tried to kill me, i would have wasted or -- just damaged the last -- i would have let him damage the last ten years of my life. and he hasn't. >> one particularly chilling account for malvo in the post interview he said during the shooting's spree he sometimes went to the news conferences held by law enforcement officials. malvo said he went to those events for, quote, intelligence collection. when those officials were speaking and telling us where they thought the killers may be, he was sometimes in the audience. >> i was sometimes at those conferences myself. that's pretty chilling. but he does speak about one particular incident where he supposedly, malowe, defied
happened. >> at one point he told him he had to kill pregnant woman. malvo said when the time came he didn't do it and he later told mohammed the circumstances just weren't right for him to pull the trigger. that's the one time he drew the line. he couldn't kill a pregnant woman. >> malvo serving life in prison without the possibility of parole. he will spend the rest of his life there. all right. thanks very much. brings back a lot of memories. 72-year-old had no choice but to trust his neighbors and several strangers when faced with danger in his apartment.
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new yorkers may not always trust each other but a 72-year-old man found himself with little choice when his apartment caught on fire.
news 12 of the bronx's reporter laura terrain has the story of his incredible rescue. watch this. >> reporter: a leap of faith from a burning building into in the arms of friends and neighbors. >> we have healthy and didn't have a broken bone. >> reporter: the 72-year-old says he suffered only a bruised heel. he fell three storeys from this apartment after his kitchen caught fire thursday afternoon. >> i couldn't breathe so i ran back to my room, closed the door. i pulled the door. smoke coming in the room. >> reporter: he said he yelled out for someone to call 911 and began climbing out to escape the smoke. eventually hanging by an arm on to the window's ledge. vanessa, a good friend, was on the street below saying she started yelling for a crowd to come help catch him. >> anybody, gathder around, gather around and let him jump. >> i leaned out.
held my arm right here. and waited. and waited. i couldn't hold on no more. >> reporter: fueling feet first. >> they held him like you're all right? you're all right? he was like, yeah, i'm good. >> reporter: he said he served in the u.s. army for several years and a paratrooper to safe from planes. >> i knew what to do jumping out the window. how to jump, how to land. and go over. but people caught me out the window. >> reporter: fire officials say the flames contained to ronnie's pardon me and so no one was seriously injured in the fire or the heroic catch. >> happy ronnie is okay and everyone that caught him, okay, as well. thanks to news 12 the bronx reporter for that report. back to jack with the cafferty file. >> heartwarming item there. wasn't it? what's it mean for mitt romney less popular than george w. bush? bloomberg media came up with a survey. bob in iowa, totally nothing.
those that going to vote for him don't care. no obama is their only vote. robert writes, it means the media deemed it so by spending more time covering romney's dog on the car than the cover-up of benghazi or fast and furious, the media are ensuring four more years of the same. paul in north carolina, be careful what you wish for. before the convention, romney said he wanted do people to get to know him better. apparently they have. rick rites, simply, he has no charisma. it's not required to be a good leader. who cares? anyone voting based on popularity instead of policies should not have the right to vote. dee says is that even possible? george w. bush didn't win by popularity in 2000 and he was more popular than he is now. if mr. romney wants to improve his popularity, he should concede right now. the 47% he doesn't worry about would appreciate that. bob in new york says, it means he won't be able to include president of the united states
on his resume and bob in ohio writes all it means is we have forgotten how incompetent w was. we're just proving that the attention span of the average american can be measured in days. to read more, go to the blog or through the post on the facebook's page. wolf? >> jack, thank you. arnold schwarzenegger certainly lived his life in the public spotlight. what he did in the shadows, though, shamed the former governor of california to no end. now he's confessing the sins and explaining them as best as he can. hmm, it says here that cheerios helps lower cholesterol as part of a heart healthy diet. that's true. ...but you still have to go to the gym. ♪ the one and only, cheerios ...but you still have to go to the gym.
romney: "it's time to stand up to the cheaters" vo: tough on china? not mitt romney. when a flood of chinese tires threatened a thousand american jobs... it was president obama who stood up to china and protected american workers. mitt romney attacked obama's decision... said standing up to china was "bad for the nation and our workers." how can mitt romney take on the cheaters... when he's taking their side?
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shocking admissions from the former california governor arnold schwarzenegger. revealing for the first time in
his brand new book the moment he confessed the his wife maria shriver he fared a child with the family's housekeeper with an affair. he spoke about it with "60 minutes." >> i think it was the stupidest thing i have done in the whole relationship. >> reporter: it was a sevet he kept from his wife and the public for years. >> it was terrible. i inflicted tremendous pain on maria and unbelievable pain on the kids. >> reporter: the most painful chapter from arnold schwarzenegger's new memory "total recall," the moment when he admitted he fared a child behind her back with the family's housekeeper. >> she then said, hey, i think that josef is your kid. and am i off here on the or snot i said, you're absolutely
correct. >> reporter: shriver confronted about her husband at a counseling session in 2011. he admits she raised suspicions before. >> so you lied to her? >> you can say that. >> reporter: she was the couple's housekeeper working for the woman she betrayed. >> even after you realized it. >> uh-huh. >> was that strange? >> very difficult, strange. i mean, bizarre. i mean, everything else. whatever you want to call it. but it's a best way i could handle. >> reporter: he also writes of a, quote, hot affair with actress brigitte nielsen on "red sonja" and already living with shriver at the time. >> she know? >> yeah. >> so it's a recuring issue. with you. >> i'm not perfect.
>> reporter: affairs weren't the only secrets. he also admits he tried to hide open heart surgery and didn't tell her about the run for the governor until days before he announced it. >> she started shaking and had tears in her eyes and i realized i was stepping in to something that was much bigger than me running and her being a supportive wife. >> reporter: she ultimately gave up the journalism career. now years later, his time in office, he says he'll always live with the regret of what he did to his family. >> that is something that i will always look back and say, how could you have done that? >> arnold schwarzenegger will join us piers morgan for an interview tomorrow evening, 9:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. happening now, countdown to debate night. governor romney versus president obama. how the candidates are
preparing. allegations of registration fraud at a crucial swing state. plus, unexpected twists that up end presidential contests. will this contest see an october surprise? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." only 36 days until the presidential election. two days until debate night in america when mitt romney and president obama will face off in denver and the race is tight. in fact, a statistical tie. the president leads in our brand new cnn/orc poll of likely voters. 50% to romney's 47% but with the sampling error that's technically a dead heat. cnn's chief national correspondent john king is in denver with more on these new poll results.
john, when's the biggest headline as you're scrutinizing all of these numbers? what are you seeing? >> reporter: we have a competitive race at the national level. we pick presidents state by state. but this is a slightly improved position for governor romney heading in to the big debate night and this is the defining question. the american people want to know which candidate better handle the economy. which candidate create more jobs in four years and whoever wins the presidency. on that question, look at the numbers of our new poll. president obama 49%. governor romney, 48%. who's best to handle the economy? evenly divided. it will dominate here in denver on wednesday night. the numbers, a dead heat in the national horse race and who would handle the economy best. underscores what this big debate is all about. >> john, when's the bonus takeaway out of this for each campaign? >> reporter: if you look at this race, we know it's very close right now. very close races the whoeld adage goes that american
politics in close races are won in the middle. for the president, he gets liberals. governor romney the conservatives. 61% for the president. 32% for romney. in the suburbs, that matters. moderate s moderate suburban voters. they tend to decide close elections. that's an advantage for the president heading in to the big debate and the final five weeks of the campaign. here's an opening for romney, wolf. people are asked about the handling of the job past three years. look at the divide. 49% approve, 48% disapprove. governor romney's job to prosecute the joba on did economy in the debate to drive up the disapproval of the incumbent president's job approval. the president on the job approval question coming down a little bit in the new poll. wednesday night to take momentum in the race to make it worse. >> the national polls obviously interesting but this is going to come down to a few battleground
states. how's the polling looking in some of these states? >> reporter: and that is why it's so important for the governor to have a strong performance because he's slightly behind in the race right now. it's competitive. let's go through the big states. this is the cnn poll of polls. we take the polls and average them together. state of ohio, no republican in modern times won the presidency without ohio. 44% for romney. look at the state of florida. always a big battleground. and the battleground state of virginia, president turned it red to blue before. ohio, florida and virginia all on the must win list for the romney campaign. you see he's behind a bit in all three of them. underscores yet again needs a national shift in the narrative of the race. best opportunity is debate wednesday night. >> yep. a little bit -- about 48 hours or so from now.
thanks very much. the candidates are meticulously preparing for the first debate wednesday night in denver. kate baldwin is here and dana bash and first correspondent jessica yellin. how's the president, jessica, preparing for this big night 48 hours or so from now? >> wolf, he's flown out to henderson, nevada, where he's mostly hunkered down. he's out there some of his top strategists for three days of intensive debate prep. i caught up with senator john kerry. he's the man who's playing mitt romney in the mock debates and he helped explain why the president had to leave washington, d.c. to get ready for wednesday's rumble. >> well, the president's the president. he was at the u.n. giving two major speeches. he's been dealing with all sorts of international business, domestic business. he is at the white house a lot of the time preparing and i can
tell you that his -- they have had to cancel times when he might or might not have been able to do preparation. it's my understanding mitt romney spent four or five days secluded somewhere. had five debates in 24 hours or 48 hours. and has senator portman with him every day on the airplane practicing. i'm here. i'm not traveling with the president or doing any of this. >> more expectations setting from senator kerrly and also making the point that being the job of president gets in the way of debate prep and leaving town and leaving washington helps for the president and doesn't hurt, wolf, picked a battleground state, nevada, to do the debate prep and going to other states. >> not far from denver, either. >> an easy jump over. also learning new details about how mitt romney's preparing for his first face to face contest with the president. dana bash is tracking the romney preparations. what new detail are we learning of mitt romney preparing?
>> john kerry is right according to sourc that he mitt romney is studying and reading for months. he did have his first mock debate during the democratic convention. you talked about romney being held up. he was in vermont. but here's a fun fact, kate. romney has, of course, had many, many debates this campaign season and participated in 20 plus debates during the republican primaries but this is the first time he's done this kind of role playing in the form of mock debates and told that they have done their best to create what romney source called game day atmospherics. there's a moderator played by his long-time aide peter fla herty. two podiums. mitt romney at one. you heard john kerry refer to rob portman in the other. he is playing the role of president obama just like more john mccain four years ago and i talked to senator portman in an exclusive interview about how he prepares to prepare romney. >> you have to figure out how they're likely to express themselves. you know, what the body language is like.
try to imitate the person but you try to give a fair presentation to whoever you're working with as to what they're likely to do. >> i tried to role play with him. i prepared to be mitt romney and to see how he was barack obama. >> did he play along? >> no. didn't go there. >> would have like to have been the vice presidential nominee and gets to play the president in these preparations. >> now key to the campaign. >> what's the president need to do this in debate? >> do no harm. no gaffes, obviously. second, he has to seem obviously presidential, down to earth, substantive all at once. that's a high hurdle. and third, crucially, make sure he doesn't come across as thin skinned or ar ro gabt when he faces the inevitable attacks from romney. that's challenging for a sitting president. they're not often confronted with somebody directly attacking them as you know an it's hard not to seem irritability in that -- >> there's rules. answer for a minute or two minutes and that's hard for this president.
he has long answers. >> keep it short. >> down to more than a sound bite. >> exactly. dana, we have seen especially in the primaries, mitt romney perform very well in debates. but it's pretty fair to say that this is a whole new ball game for him. >> completely different. he was on the stage with wolf at many of those with half a dozen or more people. one on one with anybody especially president of the united states is a complete xli different ball game. the aides know that very well. what somebody i talked to who's very close to the process said is key thing to do is stay on offense. and make clear as much he possibly can this is about economy and seen him do that for the entire campaign season on the stump and to do it in front of the president is different. one thing that i know you all were talking to paul begala about in the last hour is the fact of a "the new york times" story saying that they're practicing zingers and one liners do get under the president's skin and might have been a head fake to try to let the obama campaign think that's what they're doing. >> quite a bit of that, obviously. >> a lot of psychological
warfare going on. we'll see the debate and see the debate -- >> let's just debate. >> we'll watch it and see how these psychological games. ladies, thanks very much. this wednesday is debate night in america. the first showdown between governor romney and president obama. we'll have much more from jessica yellin's interview. our special coverage of the first presidential debate starts wednesday at 7:00 p.m. eastern right here on cnn. and, on disturbing developments in a state with a troubled voting history. details of possible registration fraud in florida. that's coming up. you've been busy for a dead man.
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you're not just looking for a by house. eyes you're looking for a place for your life to happen. hanging chads, butterfly ballots, words we came to recognize in the florida voting debacle of 2000 in the election of that year. now allegations of voter registration fraud in multiple florida counties including palm
beach county. cnn's david mattingly is working the story for us. david, what are you finding out? >> reporter: wolf, one company hired by the republican party to register new voters, there's now under the microscope here in florida after suspicious voter registration forms are popping up all over the state. for anyone, the right to vote begins with a registration form like this. and when scores of forms came in to florida's palm beach elections supervisor filled out wrong, missing information, looking like think eve been signed by the same person, officials moved quickly. >> i found that there were some consistent discrepancies. >> reporter: what kind? >> some places trying to register voters to commercial addresses. one of them was registering a couple to a gas station in miami. >> reporter: in all, 106 suspected registration forms of a single employee of strategic allied consulting hired by the republican party examined.
to the supervisor's surprise, only a half dozen were correct. >> it's very disconcerting. >> reporter: strategic allied consulting said the employee was fired. the republican party dropped strateg strategic. a company statement today says, we will continue to do everything within our power to uncover any unethical or illegal activity in florida. but possible irregularities of registration forms collected by strategic allied consulting are now being examined in about ten florida counties. 2,600 registration forms just in the panhandle. a traditional republican stronghold. but for now, florida is the only state reporting problems with registration forms gathered by strategic allied consulting. the company came under skrut any by colorado republicans after the problems in florida and after this colorado video hit youtube. >> you said we're registering romney people. >> trying. trying to be honest. >> working for the county's
office? >> reporter: confronted, the young woman identified by state republican officials as an employee of strategic allied consulting said she was working for the county clerk but registering only republicans. state republicans say the company has been dropped in colorado. officials here in palm beach county say they're not satisfied with just looking at the forms that have been handled by that one company. in fact, they're going to be looking at everything that's been changed over the past couple of months. they're looking at 60,000 voter registration forms here in the office behind me. just as a firewall to make sure that this problem isn't any more widespread than they think it is. wolf? >> could there be criminal charges as a result of all of this, david? >> reporter: very likely it could be because this is a class 3 felony here in the state of florida. every single count carries the potential penalty of five years in prison.
if someone's convicted of messing up with multiple forms here they could be looking at a long time behind bars. >> david mattingly for us, thanks very much. it's very disturbing, especially thinking about the history of palm beach county. >> exactly. >> hanging chads in the year 2000. >> not the last of this, absolutely not. still ahead, it's the last thing you'd expect to happen on an airline flight. details of the seat surprise that forced an american jet to make an emergency landing.
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a grim and deadly milestone in america's third largest city. kate's got this and more of the day's top stories. >> unfortunately more murder in chicago. chicago saw its 400th murder of the year over the weekend. a 25-year-old gang member was shot and killed after a fight near a fast food stand and the friend was also left paralyzed. latest in a wave of homicides. many gang related officials unable to stem. activists say only city wide action can stop the killing. >> this is giving us all a black eye across the nation. 400 homicide mark and on pace for 500 home sides this year for the first time in many years so it's up to all of us right now. the mayor can only do so much.
but we all have to play a role. >> chicago's murder rate is up 25% so far this year. also, a u.s. federal judge is thrown out a lawsuit by italian businesses over the capsizing of the costa concor a concordia. it's owned by miami-based carnival use lines but the judge says the case belongs in an italian court. multiple cases are still pending in both countries. remember, 32 people died when the costa concordia struck rocks and rolled on to the side in tuscany in january. peanut butter recall that started at trader joe's expanded to include other nut products at multiple stores. all of them are made in a new mexico plant belonging to sunland and all may be contaminated. the products are peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter and tahini. they were at trader joe's whole foods market, target, fresh &
easy and giant food. people need to check their cubboards. >> good advice. very good. thank you. he dismantled the foreign policy, country by country. we'll talk to a supporter of each man to be president of the united states. one of them already is president of the united states. we'll talk about mitt romney's scathing opinion article today. in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪
the turmoil in the middle east certainly has put foreign policy and national security front and center in the race for the white house. >> yeah. that's absolutely right, wolf. mitt romney's blasting president obama on his foreign policy. in a "wall street journal" op-ed that caught our attention, the republican nominee writes this in part, in syria, tens of thousands of innocent people have been slaughtered. in egypt, the muslim brotherhood has come to power and the country's peace treaty with
israel hajjes in the balance. in libya, our ambassador was murdered. u.s. beams throughout the region have been stormed in violent protests and in iran they continue to move full tilt toward nuclear weapons capability all the while promising to annihilate israel. >> let's talk about this with two guests. former commander and obama campaign surrogate, general wesley clark and richard williamson for the romney campaign. gentlemen, thanks very much for coming in. general clark, let me start with you. you saw in that quote from the article in "the "wall street journal" "wall street journal"" which i'm sure you wrote is and that tens of thousands have been slaughtered. what's the president doing about the slaughter that continues right now in syria? >> well, the first question is, what is it that mr. romney proposes doing? that's what's -- >> the question to you, general, with all respect. >> that's okay. >> what's the president of the united states doing?
romney wants to be president but the president is the president. >> president's working with allies in the region to try to provide hue human taryn assistance. working with groups to try to form a legitimate and recommendsed political opposition. working to -- with others to try to hold down the delivery of heavy weapons to the region. working with other allies that are providing some assistance and some information on who the syrian resistance leaders are so it's humanitarian, political, diplomatic. it's everything we can do short of using military force. i'm sure the military options have been looked at. an air campaign has been looked at. taking out the ground defense. both of those are major military operations. they involve war. they don't have -- they don't have strong support from nato allies. it's more go it alone for the
united states. >> all right. >> an they don't seem to be that effective in addressing the underlying problem there. >> now, ambassador -- >> i think the president's approach is pretty common sense. been very forward. he's taken the lead on this but it's not military yet. >> ambassador williamson, you advise governor romney. what would a president romney do right now with regard to syria? would he take unilateral action? >> well, no. it's not required to take unilateral action. the arab league already called for more robust efforts. there are a number of european states. it east sbresing. general wesley clark led the successful kosovo engagement. in that situation, president clinton did not allow the u.n. security council to bind our hands and bring humanitarian relief but president obama has been playing mother may i with the russians and with china on what we can do in syria. and anyone who's studied the u.n. anyone who's spent time
there as i have and various ambassadorial posts knowing that russia won't let us go forward to take robust or strong action. >> let me interprurupt for a moment. i want to hear if you can tell us what would romney do differently than the president is doing right now. >> sure. fit of all, it was almost a year ago when governor romney called for us to go in and try to organize the moderate opposition. it is true as general clark said that president obama is now approved it but it took him until late may. by that time, various radical forces had already gone in and made it much more complicated. early this year, governor romney called for arming the moderate opposition, working with the friends in the region. president obama at the time said, no. but in late may, he signed a presidential directive to do that. again, it's the options are less because we haven't had leadership.
we're not working effectively with the neighborhood and the consequence ofleting mother may i with the u.n. letting us be late, letting us be indecisive is that 30,000-plus people died and it is a tragedy. >> all right. >> destabilizing the region. 100,000 refugees now in turkey. >> i'm not hearing any major differences between the romney campaign and the obama white house right now as far as to what you'd do next. i understand the criticism from the past but i'm not hearing new steps to take. am i missing something? >> well, i think you are, wolf. you've covered that region for long time. you're a correspondent in israel a long time ago. you know it takes time and diplomatic effort to pull coalitions together. and to lead and anticipate and that's what governor romney's laid out. that's what president obama's failed to do. there's a huge difference between that. furthermore, another example is the u.n. general assembly should
have been utilized by the president for meetings with heads of the state to coordinate the initiative. instead he went and appeared on whoopie goldberg. >> general clark, i want to push you. governor romney was critical of president obama and his position and his approach to egypt right now. egypt, the muslim brotherhood is in power and president obama took a lot of heat a couple of weeks ago when he said that he didn't consider egypt an ally. he does not consider egypt an enemy. so which is it? >> egypt is a legal status is a major nonnato ally. that's the legal status allowing us to give military assistance to egypt. the egyptian administration is evolving and we hope they'll continue the same policies in the past. they said they'll honor the treaty that anwar sadat negotiated under president cart carter's leadership in 1978. they say they'll keep their.
>> linement the same. we're hopeful they will. i want to go back for such a second on criticisms of syria. >> absolutely. >> the only thing i heard was a discussion of timing and yet, if you look at timing, as soon as we -- we immediately began to look for the leadership of the syrian opposition and when we found them began to deal with. >> that's not true. >> at the first spark of conflict, the right thing to do is not to dump weapons in to a conflict zone. it's to try to prevent the conflict because any time you have a bunch of weapons coming in, you will have innocent people killed. so the decision was made to put the weapons in when it was clear that there was no alternative to that. as far as the u.n. security council resolution's concerned, i just want to remind people that we did have a u.n. security council resolution. it wasn't quite exact. it said nations can use all
necessary means to deal with the humanitarian crisis and milosevic provoked the crisis. that doesn't mean we won't go in to syria but it's more a matter of finding the effective course of action and what the republican side hasn't been able to do is articulate what is that effective course of action. is it a major invasion of syria at this stage? is it a takedown of their entire military air defense complex to throw the ground open for other? what is that course of action? >> but i take it the answer from ambassador williamson, that's no. you're note proposing those steps right now, right? >> i'm not proposing them or accepting the rewriting of history. it was the conflict began in march. governor romney proposed reaching out and working with the opposition in the fall. he talked about trying to arm the moderate opposition in february. that was 11, 12 months after it
began. there was dilly dallying by the obama administration as innocents died. i appreciate the framework that general clark laid out. the facts in this case just don't meet it. >> all right, guys. stand by. we have much re to zudiscuss. we'll talk about a call for the u.s. ambassador to the united nations to resign over what he said about the deadly attack on the american consulate in libya. o choose from? your ford dealer. who's offering a rebate? your ford dealer. who has the low price tire guarantee... affording peace of mind to anyone who might be in the market for a new set of res? your ford dealer. i'm beginning to sense a pattern. buy four select tires, get a $60 rebate. use the ford service credit credit card, get $60 more. that's up to $120. where did you get that sweater vest? your ford dealer.
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dramatic fallout of the attack on the american consulate in libya killing the united states ambassador and three other americans. >> the powerful republican congressman calling on the u.s. ambassador to the united nations to resign.
that's peter king, the chairman of the house homeland security committee. it all started when susan rice made remarks five days after those attacks. listen here. >> there was a hateful video that was disseminated on the internet. it had nothing to do with the united states government and it's one that we find disgusting and reprehencible. offensive to many, many people around the world. that sparked violence in various parts of the world including against western facilities including our embassies and consulates. >> the obama administration eventually labeled the attack on that consulate in libya terrorism. the chairman of the house homeland security committee peter king thinks there should be consequences to rice's original comments that you heard right there. here's what he said to wolf in "the situation room" friday. >> to rule out terrorism, to say it was not terrorism at that time was, to me, a terrible mistake to make whether it was
done intentionally or unintentionally and i believe she should retisign, yes. >> let's bring back obama campaign supporter general wesley clark and rich williamson, former diplomatic, a veteran, former and currently foreign policy adviser to the romney campaign. rich, do you agree with the house homeland security committee chairman peter king that susan rice, the u.s. ambassador to the united nations, should resign? >> look. i feel that it was a big mistake for our u.n. ambassador to go out five days after the attack and still do a line which wasn't credible. it is not my position to advise congressman king or the congress on personnel. i think what's disturbing is this happened on 9/11. there were no demonstrations outside the benghazi consulate. it's coming out there was
inadequate security protection there and the effort to be dismissive of it as just a spontaneous demonstration because of this video was either disingenuous or very, very confused and either case is bad and then the president shot before he aimed. he was calling it consequence of this video. look. we had demonstrations in 20 embassies around the world. we had four that were breached. the american flag brought down and burned. and al qaeda-like black flack raised on four diplomatic posts. it was a disgrace and the president called it a bump in the road. it's not. it's a serious problem that shows the failure of the middle east policy and the live, terror threat and that al qaeda continues to be a threat to america. >> what about that, general clark? susan rice, other administration officials, they seem to be slow
to appreciate when other folks suspected on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11. this was an al qaeda related terror attack. >> oh, we all thought it was kind of odd that the demonstrators have rpg and machines with them. we started to do investigation and you have to understand we lost the ambassador. and when you lose the top leadership in the embassy in something like this, it just doesn't have no impact. and so, there were a lot of other considerations at the time. than simply how to label this. so i think -- you know, i don't think susan rice should bear any consequences for this. they have to sort through the source and susan rice doesn't have any independent source of this. neither did the president. they're relying on intelligence coming in so, you know -- and we have got -- we have excellent intelligence. but i'll make this point of libya. from the beginning we knew that
there were radical elements in benghazi. we knew that libyans heavy participants in al qaeda and other battles in afghanistan weand we knew that in aiding the transitional government there was also a risk that in gadhafi's absence they would have an outsized impact and be a threat in the region. >> let me jump in real quick. >> just a minute. it was the republican's wing, my friend and others, who from the beginning were urging rapid intervention. i think the administration both in libya and in syria's following a very sensible policy of trying to get the politics and the strategy right before dumping weapons and military assistance -- >> right. but in terms of this timeline, it's gotten coverage that susan rice five days after the attack and speaking very consistently for the administration and was moving -- saying that this was a reaction to a spontaneous
protest that was occurring. did the administration make some mistakes here in how they handled this -- the early days of the aftermath of this attack on this consulate? >> well, first of all, i don't think that the attacks on the consulate or the demonstrations in the other countries are a repudiation of u.s. policy. if anything, what they indicate is struggles in the countries as they're trying do demock tiz and they have responsibility and. >> -- right. >> is it a mistake if the opposition says it's a mistake? i mean, the best evidence indicated at the time that it wasn't a terrorist attack despite the fact that it was suspicious indicators and instead of jumping to the conclusion that it was a terrorist attack, the administration said, let's see the evidence that it was a terrorist attack. i don't think there's anything wrong with asking for evidence before you jump to a conclusion on something like this. >> all right.
we have to leave it, guys. rich williamson, a quick question. will we see a major foreign policy address from governor romney in the next few days? >> this month you will hear the governor lay out a different view than barack obama. barack obama thinks that strength is -- that strength is provocati provocative. governor romney knows that weakness is provocative. they have a different vision of how to pursue american interest and that's clear and the stonewalling in the benghazi tragedy is evidence of a foreign policy that's collapsing through the broader middle east and the american people know that. >> the month is just beginning. next few days, will there be a major foreign policy address by mitt romney? >> there will be -- the governor will be discussing foreign policy in a variety of ways just like he did in the "wall street journal" today talking about syria, the benghazi incident, the violence in -- with four
embassies were breached, collapse, failure of foreign policy under barack obama and his vision of one that's built on a strong economy, strong defense and american values. >> rich williamson, thanks very much. wesley clark, thanks to you, as well. kate? presidential contest turned upside by by a so-called october surprise. we'll take a look at what a sudden twist can do in the final weeks of a campaign.
cnn's just confirmed a second incident of seats aboard an american airlines flight coming loose. our sandra endo has been
tracking this. what are you learning? >> reporter: american airlines flight from jfk to miami had to return to jfk this morning after a row of seats came loose. now, this is the second plane to experience this. saturday, a boeing 757 going from boston to miami carrying 175 passengers diverted to new york's jfk airport when three seats in row 12 came loose shortly after takeoff. the plane landed safely and no injuries were reported but just moments ago american issued a statement saying, quote, there could be a possible issue with a certain model of seats and how they fit in to the tracking used to secure the seat out of 0 an abundance of caution american has decided to proactively reinspect eight 757s today that could possibly have this same issue. the issue does not seem to be tied in any one maintenance facility or one workgroup. we contacted the pilot's union for american airlines and they said saturday's incident is,
quote, a 'em bar raszing problem and the overhaul was performed by third party maintenance workers. american going through a turbent time with pilots calling in sick and they are at the top of the list of manl carriers when it comes to the number of consolations and delays. >> this is not the kind of news they wanted to hear. >> thank you. 36 days until the election and you don't have to look that far into the past to see that anything can happen in these final weeks of the wcampaign an we're all wondering, will there be an october surprise? here's dana bash. >> election year 1972. the raging unpopular war in vietnam consumed the bitter campaign battle between president nixon and george mcgovern. suddenly, on october 26th, 12
days before the election, henry kissinger -- >> we believe that peace is at hand. >> it was the first so-called october surprise, a late in the game campaign event with a significant impact on the election. >> re-election for knicnixon, 1. end to vietnam war and this was sort of the definitive statement. >> the most famous october surprise was in 1980 and the surprise was what did not happen. 52 u.s. hostages held in iran were not released before the election despite president carter's efforts. instead, they were freed as soon as ronald reagan was inaugurated, never proving that reagan emissaries back channelled with iran freeing the hostages.
>> it fed into the whole dynamic of the 1980 race in a sense that carter was an ineffective president. >> to 1992. president bush was already on the ropes against bill clinton when casper wine berger, former president ronald reagan's defense secretary, was implicated in the iran contra scandal shortly before election day. bad news that bush did not need. in 2004, a classic october surprise. osama bin laden released a video of october 29th, four days before election day, in a razor thin race between bush and kerry. three years after 9/11, itted as a reminder of the e terrorist threat. more recently, the term october surprise has come to mean a seismic event in the fall of an election year. though most have centered around foreign policy, others have been
about the economy like in 2008. when the economy imploded, john mccain's advisers say his campaign collapsed along with it and never recovered. historians say in order for an october surprise to have a real 11th hour impact, it has the feed into a narrative that exists. whether it's carter's ineffectiveness or questions about mccain's credentials on the economy. >> it's not so much this eureka, this is so surprising and amazing, but rather, people nod, yes. this is where we thought things were going. >> and what's possible we may have already seen this election year's october surprise. maybe it was the candidate's reaction to the tragedy in libya and the broader unrest in the middle east or mitt romney's 47% remarks or perhaps one or beth of the campaigns is holding on to something damaging about the other. maybe an unforeseen event on the world's stage. >> prediction, maybe it wouldn't
be a surprise. >> october predictable doesn't work well. >> i've always wondered codo the campaigns hold something sensitive, then release it. >> jeanne moos has found a very different october surprise for us. you won't believe how much this pumpkin weighs. coming up. your finances can't manage themselves. but that doesn't mean they won't try. bring all your finances together with the help of the one person who can. a certified financial planner professional. cfp. let's make a plan.
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halloween pumpkins are showing up in grocery stores across the country, maybe hollywood pumpkins as well. but in any case, nothing like the one time wonder. >> kids can get pretty excited poking around a pumpkin patch. but did you ever seen one as excited as this?
it was the weigh in that answered charlie brown's age old question. >> oh, great pumpkin, where are you? >> there it is. the scale tips 2,009 pounds. ron wallace ended up in the arms of his fellow giant pumpkin growers at the fair in massachusetts. a one-ton pumpkin is equivalent to the four-minute mile. that from 2006 when he last broke the record. the one-ton pumpkin is named a freak 2. it came from the seed of the freak 1, which tie died on the vine last year. the freak 2 won a $5,50 prize, plus a bonus.
wa wallace was growing giant pumpkins is addictive. >> put one of these in the ground and get hooked, never grow back to growing vegetables again. >> it may be biggest pumpkin, wouldn't win a beauty content instead of being around and round. look more like a globe of fat. why did he look so homely? >> it's genetics. they grow at such a quick pace, they get distorted. >> for now, it's an object of admiration. eventually, it will probably be carved. >> breeding giant pumpkins is like horse racing. >> the freak 2's seeds could sell anywhere from 200 to $3,000 per seed to breed others and to think president obama joked about hurting his back from picking th